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Beasley carries Kansas State past Nebraska

Feb 7, 2008 - 5:38 AM MANHATTAN, Kansas (Ticker) -- Michael Beasley's monster game helped Kansas State rebound from its disappointing loss.

The sensational freshman had 23 of his 35 points in the first half and added 13 rebounds as the 24th-ranked Wildcats pulled away from Nebraska for a 74-59 victory in a Big 12 contest on Wednesday.

The 6-9 power forward, who came into the game leading the Big 12 in scoring and rebounding, shot 15-of-21 from the field for his eighth 30-point game of the season.

His performance was also the 18th double-double of the season, setting a new school record.

"They just weren't guarding me," Beasley said. "I don't know why. Maybe that was their game plan, I don't know. They weren't guarding me and I was hitting open shots."

The big effort helped Kansas State bounce back from a 77-74 loss to Missouri on Saturday after the Wildcats had defeated then-No. 2 Kansas last Wednesday.

"We beat a pretty good team tonight," Kansas State coach Frank Martin said. "Let's not forget that Nebraska is the same team that beat Oregon and Arizona State early in the year, two pretty darn good teams in the Pac-10."

Bill Walker added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Wildcats (16-5, 6-1 Big 12), who improved to 12-1 at home and beat the Cornhuskers for the sixth time in their last seven meetings.

The Cornhuskers (13-7, 2-5) scored the game's first four points before the Wildcats answered with 12 straight - the last 10 coming from Beasley - to take a 12-4 lead with 16:15 left in the first half.

"I think we got in trouble offensively in the first half when we came in here and thought we were going to outscore them," Nebraska coach Doc Sadler said. "Our whole deal was to come in, slow it down and mix up the defenses. They're so explosive offensively, we knew we couldn't stop them. In the second half, we followed our plan better."

Nebraska cut the deficit to 16-15 before Kansas State answered with a 9-0 run - capped by consecutive 3-pointers from freshman Jacob Pullen - to take a 25-15 lead with 8:28 left before intermission.

Beasley scored 11 straight points as Kansas State opened up its biggest lead of the game at 43-25 before Nebraska cut it to 45-30 at the break.

"I was real proud of (Beasley)," Martin said. "He didn't just stand around and watch the game. He had a guy on him at all times and he continued to work. I thought we did a halfway decent job in finding him."

The Cornhuskers trailed by as many as 17 early in the second half but Sek Henry's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 55-50 with 11:29 to play.

"We started to celebrate early," Beasley said. "We were up 15 and we just relaxed. They started coming back. We can't do that ever."

Still leading by five, Kansas State scored 10 straight points - six from Beasley - to take a 69-54 bulge with 2:53 left, and Nebraska never got closer than 11 the rest of the way.

Senior Aleks Maric had his third straight double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds and freshman Cookie Miller had 14 points to pace Nebraska, which made just 3-of-15 shots from the arc.

"In the first half, we didn't do anything right," Miller said. "In the second half, we came out with more energy. We actually started using the shot clock and in the first half we were shooting 25 and 30 seconds left on the clock."

    --- --- -----
    NEBRASKA 30 29 59
    KANSAS ST (24) 45 29 74 FINAL

    Feb 6 9:57 PM


    Feb 6 8:53 PM